The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has suspended its chief executive officer Zolani Matthews after his security clearance was declined following his failure to disclose his citizenship.Announcing the suspension on Monday, PRASA chairman Leonard Ramatlakane said Matthews was placed on precautionary suspension to investigate an alleged “sensitive matter of security breach and other contractual obligations associated with his PRASA contract.”
“On 17th November 2021, the PRASA Board of Control was made aware of a letter from the Department of State Security stating that Matthews’ top secret security clearance has been declined,” Ramatlakane said.
He added: “The reason for this decline is due to his deliberate failure to disclose to PRASA that he holds British citizenship.”
According to Ramatlakane, the effect of the material non-disclosure by Matthews was a breach of his employment contract.
“It is upon receipt of this notification that the board took a decision to place Matthews on precautionary suspension on 18th November 2021. The reason for placing him on precautionary suspension is to ensure that further investigation is conducted with any interference.”
Ramatlakane said the board has appointed David Mphelo as the acting group chief executive with immediate effect pending the outcomes of the probe into Matthews’ contract breach.